Ask Ping!

Ask Ping!

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Ping,

I love your weekly feature on Racer x and more so commend your ambition to go outside of the motocross industry to follow a passion. That said, this e-mail has nothing to do with motocross or you (no offense)...I recently donated bone marrow through the Be The Match organization. Back in 2012 Racer X did a feature on Kim McGrath (Jeremy's wife, which I'm sure you know) and her battle with breast cancer and then leukemia. In that article they were promoting Be The Match so I shot over to their website and signed up without much thought to it. Well 1.5 years later I get a call and, long story short, 3 weeks ago I donated to a 13 year old boy with a form of blood cancer (they extracted 1500 mL which apparently is a lot).  The reason I'm writing to you is because I'm not sure what Kim McGrath's outcome was and didn't want to assume anything. I'm bad at facebook and internet research in general. I was hoping you could pass this along to Kim and/or Jeremy and let them know that they have made an impact on at least one 13 year old boy and his family's life. I don't know the boy's current condition, but I guess no news is good news. If she would like to get in touch with me please forward this e-mail address.

Thanks!

Grant Achey from Southern New Jersey

P.S - I can not wait for the show at Metlife Stadium!!

Well done.
Well done.

Grant,

I don't know if I'm the only one that feels this way but occasionally I get really disappointed with people. Not any one person, specifically, just society as a whole. We try to surround ourselves with good folks but whether I'm in line at the grocery store or being cut off on the freeway sometimes I feel like decent people are practically nonexistent, especially out here in California. But then I get a message like this and I realize that while there are an abundance of window-licking douchebags surrounding us every day, good people still exist. I can't think of a more selfless act than what you did for that boy. I signed up for the same Be The Match registry and thought about what I would do if I got a call saying that I wasn't a match for Kim but I was a match for somebody I didn't know. I'd like to think I would step up and do exactly what you did. Thank you for restoring my faith in human beings. I hope I bump into you next weekend in New York because I'd love to shake your hand. Respect.

PING

 

Hey Ping,

Lets be honest. The triple jump is not what it use to be. What ever happened to a triple jump where riders would have to take a couple of runs just to get a feel for the jump. Now riders jump them first lap in practice. They are just a standard same size fits all cut out. Frankly, they are boring. Everyone jumps them. I know the bikes are better, easier to ride, blah,blah,blah. Then make the triple closer to the exit of the TURN! I want to see it where if you don't execute your corner right then the triple will be hard to make, and that includes 450's. For the 250 guys, only the best can huck it. Hey, it would create better passing opportunities! If not, use the dirt for something else. I don't think the middle landing of a triple has been touched in 5 years.

Tim from PA.

This guy had no problem jumping triples on a 125.
This guy had no problem jumping triples on a 125.

Tim,

The triple jump is exactly what it has always been. Perhaps they've gotten better at making them so there isn't as much variance from week to week but they are every bit as tall and long as they ever were. And while some of them are in the middle of a lane I have seen plenty of them right out of a corner. Your frustration is misplaced. Say "blah, blah, blah" all you want but riders are better at supercross then they were even a decade ago and bikes are on another level from the two-stroke days you are likely referring to. Back before 2001 there was always one triple that was difficult for the 125’s to jump. Now, you can put the face of the triple right at the exit of the turn and privateers on 250F's will seat bounce it within a lap or two. The game has changed. Either accept it or stockpile all the vintage racing videos you can and relive the glory days until your VCR blows up.

PING

 

Hey David,

I have always been a huge fan of the Asterisk crew. Those guys are like the guardian angels of our sport. Watching what they did for Adam Cianciarulo this year was incredible, popping his shoulder back in twice right there on the floor and quickly getting him back out on the track. I'm also too young to remember the days before the Asterisk crew, so what did they have at the tracks for EMT personnel? Did they have the local town dispatch an ambulance or two for the day to sit at the track? I feel bad for whoever got hurt back then that didn't have Doc Bodnar and his crew in their corner. 

Zak

Syracuse, NY

An injured rider from a very early supercross is carried off.
An injured rider from a very early supercross is carried off.

Zak,

Well, I'm glad you wrote to your old grand-pappy Ping to tell you how it was in the good old days, you little whippersnapper. Back in ott-two, before the big war, injured riders used to be given a stick to bite on and then placed out of the way to die a slow death. It was sad. That improved over the years until you had private ambulance companies who would be hired to sit at the bottom of the tunnel and provide medical care for injured riders. When I started racing professionally in 1993 that is the way it was. You had one paramedic and one EMT dressed up in their fancy blue shirts ready to save the world. Unfortunately, EMT's are minimally trained and can really only load you onto a gurney and drive you to a hospital. If that's all you needed then you were set. Sure they can handle some basic splinting and get a blood pressure but that's about it. The paramedic can at least start an IV and give medication, including narcotics for pain. That is a key point if your leg is snapped and your foot is pointing the wrong direction. Still, compared to what we have now that was primitive. Now when a rider splatters himself in a race he has an ER trauma doctor, a nurse, multiple paramedics, a certified athletic trainer and orthopedic surgeons standing over him to assess the situation. It is truly the greatest advancement in our sport in the last two decades, in my opinion. After all, what is more important then rider safety? Well, money, of course, but I meant other than that.

PING

Have a question for Ping? Email him at ping@racerxonline.com.

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